After going through the last few chapters of Journalists and the Public, the quote I decided to pull out and discuss is the editors thoughts on the editor’s column. On page 147, Wahl-Jorgensen quotes an editor of a small newspaper called the Southland Times, stating:
His solution to the problem of insanity, then, lay in a trickle-down theory of public discourse: By introducing a rational or even elite discourse as a counterpoint to the discourse of the “crazies,” the public sphere would be transformed into a safe neighborhood in which to be heard and seen.
My initial reaction to the quote was a bit of shock. Understandably, there are going to be some letters to the editor that are lacking factual evidence and can be considered insane. Not every letter can be printed due to obvious reasons.
However, the letters to the editor section is supposed to exactly that! A LETTER TO THE EDITORS SECTION. If the editors are going to find a group to send letters consistently, would they not be considered contributors to the paper?
This undermines democracy and takes away from the voice of the people. Editors consistently talk about the importance of the letters to editors section, but let it remain the public’s voice. If there is a bad day or week, don’t complain about the scarcity of publishable letters. Perhaps your suffering from lack of publishable letters because the stories your publishing are biased and undebatable!